EDMONTON, AB (December 4, 2014): Environment Minister Kyle Fawcett must repeal the harmful sections in Bill 36, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, if he won’t repeal the bill outright, Wildrose Environment Critic Drew Barnes said today.
On Wednesday, Barnes asked Fawcett in Question Period to specifically repeal three sections of Bill 36: 13 (1), 15 (3) - (b) and 17 (4). The sections prevent landowners from accessing the courts and creating an exercisable claim, and give sweeping powers to Bill 36 when it conflicts with other acts. Barnes said he was disappointed with Fawcett’s commitment to stick to the status quo.
“Being able to access the courts and receive due process is a basic freedom in our province and country, but Bill 36 consistently denies these rights to Alberta landowners who find themselves in conflict with the PC government on property issues,” Barnes said. “Repealing these problematic sections in Bill 36 is a no brainer given the stories and feedback we’ve all received from landowner groups, but the Minister is clearly not listening.”
According to Barnes, Bill 1 – the Respecting Property Rights Act – Premier Jim Prentice’s flagship bill, was positioned to be the PC government’s saving grace on property rights, but it fell far short of what landowners were asking for, and it’s time to tackle the real problem.
“Bill 1 does little to nothing to address the concerns of landowners. It was only eight words long and it repealed one other bill that had never even been proclaimed or utilized,” Barnes said. “If this government wants to keep its campaign promises to restore property rights, it can start by accepting the Wildrose position to repeal or amend Bill 36 immediately.”